Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling Analytical Essay by Bookish Ivan

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Analysis of the symbolism in and influences on Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel.
# 59436 | 1,097 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2000 | US
Published on Jun 19, 2005 in Art (Artists) , Art (History) , Art (Fine Art)

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This paper discusses symbolism and meaning that can be found within Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel, as well as the possible interpretations of the painting. The paper also describes the scenes in the painting and what could have influenced Michelangelo to paint the ceiling the way he did.

From the Paper:

"Michelangelo Buonarroti executed one of the grandest works of the Renaissance at the request of Pope Julius II. This work was the famous fresco ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican in Rome. Michelangelo undertook this work in 1508 with some trepidation, for a number of reasons. The first being that he considered himself primarily a sculptor, secondly because a painting of this magnitude would keep him from working on a prior commission for the Popes' tomb at St Peter's Basilica. This project required the use of his skills as an architect and sculptor. But with the desires of the Pope on his shoulders, he was forced instead to focus his energies on this massive painting. In the beginning, Julius was interested in a depiction of the twelve apostles, which would replace Pope Sixtus IV's blue sky. Eventually, though, Michelangelo was given a free hand to proceed with the painting as he desired, and the result was one of the most complex and exuberant works ever created. When observing this work, it is to do it a great injustice by not considering it as a theological and intellectual exercise, in addition to being very strong aesthetically. This scholarly consideration raises a good deal of questions about the intellectual programme that motivated Michelangelo. The assumption that the plan behind this work was random is of course a possibility, but considering what we know of both the artist and the time period, it can be accepted that this work was the product of a great deal of religious and historical study. The amount of symbolism within the work is astounding, and because of its great depth and intricacies of meaning, whether or not Michelangelo arrived at this programme independently comes into question. More important, however, is the work itself: its symbols and how the viewer interprets them."

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Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling (2005, June 19) Retrieved September 21, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/michelangelo-sistine-chapel-ceiling-59436/

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"Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling" 19 June 2005. Web. 21 September. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/michelangelo-sistine-chapel-ceiling-59436/>